WHAT DOES AMERICA MEAN TO YOU, MR. PRESIDENT?: AN IDEOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENTIAL STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESSES BY GEORGE W. BUSH AND DONALD J. TRUMP
Hodyc, Kyle L.
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This thesis used ideological criticism to examine the first-year State of the Union (SOTU) addresses of George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump to reveal the similarities and divergences in ideograph usage. McGee’s (1980) concept of ideographs served as the method of analysis to reveal how the dominant ideology of both presidents serve to exert social control. The results indicate that despite similar ideograph usage, Bush and Trump assign different meanings and functions to the central ideographs <terrorism> and <America>. For Bush, <terrorism> is an attack on morality and civility by unholy harbingers of malevolence that must be defeated using pro-war legislation and <America> is a victim due freedom from oppression. Conversely, Trump views <terrorism> as an inevitability that can only be stopped through immigration reform and <America> as a land of opportunity only for those who uphold traditional American values. This thesis contributes to and builds on our understanding of ideograph usage in political rhetoric by both George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump.